It's believed that three million UK motorists are using dash cams. With more people installing them to provide vital evidence to their insurers if they're involved in an accident.
Security and safety said to have been enhanced by the plethora of dash cams now available.
They can even help you save on your insurance with some companies offering a 10% discount to dash cam users so make sure you ask what they offer.
What Makes A Good Dash Cam?
A dash cam is only worthwhile if you've got one that records high-quality footage, which will be down to the quality of the lens and resolution of the recording. If it isn't able to see the number plate in front it may be too poor to use as evidence.
Most dash cams come with a removable memory card, so you don't have to keep transferring large video files to your computer, and are set to record in a loop, overwriting any old footage. There are some dash cams that can detect sudden movements that could indicate a crash and save the footage automatically. Others have a button you press after any incident to save the recording.
You should make sure that the dash cam you want to buy is compatible with your computer and that you're able to use it. Many now also come with smartphones apps so you can download that ahead of time and make sure you like it.
Dash Cam Setup
If you're inclined to fit one, make sure that the dash cam does not obscure your forward or rearward vision, otherwise the police will be able to prosecute you. Indeed, the best option is to get the system professionally installed so that you don’t have wires hanging everywhere. It won’t take long and doesn't cost very much.
Will Your Dash Cam Footage Used By Police?
Several police forces including the West Midlands have made it clear that they will now accept dash cam footage, although it must include an extended period before and after the incident. They'll then be able to assess the circumstances properly and also the behaviour of the driver submitting the video evidence. Their recommendation is that anyone with dash cam footage must remember that their conduct will also be under scrutiny. If the driver confronts another road user, they could be committing a public order offence if they become agitated and confrontational.
Meanwhile in Wales it's just been announced that all police forces are going to start using dash cam footage routinely in order to investigate road traffic offences. What this means is that the police will use the evidence even if it's not given voluntarily. Anyone who commits a road traffic offence and has a dash cam can be prosecuted on the basis of what's found in the video.
A new portal has been launched with the support of 19 police forces meaning that dash cam owners can directly upload their footage to the police. Nextbase is part of the not for profit National Dash Cam Safety Portal and accepts footage from all types of dashcams, all you have to do is complete a form.
A dash cam therefore comes with potential implications and a good deal of responsibility. Users must be prepared for the evidence to be used against, as well as for them.
That said, dash cams could be a major factor for the future improvement of driving standards.
If you've decided to purchase one, as well as protecting yourself and identifying bad drivers, you'll also be able to share the best novelty moments that come with driving on UK roads!